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Review JN100: Close Contact! Dande's Special Training!!

Lightning Flame Blast

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Second, the whole plot showed how unworthy a champion Leon is! It was explicitly stated he's nothing like a charismatic hero, but rather a little kid. That's nothing bad per se but you simply expect a real champion to have dignity, be superior and act heroicly...exactly that kind of description that applies to Cynthia and Cynthia alone!
If having some fun on your free time makes you unworthy of being champion, doesn’t Cynthia’s ice cream addiction make her a no-goer too?
 

Alola

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I feel this battle didn't have to be as fluid and epic as Flint vs Cynthia, because the latter was meant as a dramatic moment of resolve for Ash. This one wasn't meant to carry the same emotional weight.
Emotional weight has never determined the quality of animation for fights, though. So why apply that here, now, as a stipulation? You know what was another battle with emotional weight? Ash and Serena's first, and so far only, battle at the tail end of XYZ. Despite the context around it and how well it was animated, the animation was no less stellar than other significant battles in the XYZ saga, such as Ash's Gym Battles or several of Ash's random Trainer Battles. They've animated better for less impassioned or important events in the anime. And personally for me, anytime a regional Champion and Elite Four member (or one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" as their original names are literally translated to) fight, the battle should be eventful. ¯\(ツ)
Flint vs Leon was a throwaway match simply yo set up the episode and had no significance beyond that it really isn't the same as Flint vs Cynthia
Both fights feature Flint fighting a Champion's advantageous ace with his ace in a televised event, in a battle with a decisive consequence (becoming Champion for Cynthia, increasing PWC ranking for Leon), in a stadium full of people, where Ash is watching. Both fights are also used as narrative devices for the episode. These are stark similarities I don't see how one can ignore.
 

Sai

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How can an episode have an Elite Four member fighting another region's Champion and still be so boring?
??? This episode was great. Leon got some great characterisation and we learned how similar he and Ash are. Seeing Sonia and Go again was nice too. Obviously since the Flint match was barely advertised it was never going to be a major part of the episode and just a minor element to see Leon battle in the Masters 8, so why bring that up?

This ep also had some nice showcasing of Galar pokemon in general we didn't see much this series like the Corviknight, Dreepy and Wooloo line.
Both fights feature Flint fighting a Champion's advantageous ace with his ace in a televised event, in a battle with a decisive consequence (becoming Champion for Cynthia, increasing PWC ranking for Leon), in a stadium full of people, where Ash is watching. Both fights are also used as narrative devices for the episode. These are stark similarities I don't see how one can ignore.
No, Soniman is right. The Flint battle is an extremely minor part of the episode that was never advertised in the summary as being the main plot of the episode. It was just to show Leon beat someone quickly in the Masters 8. Seeing Leon beat some other characters builds him up narratively.
 

Alola

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No, Soniman is right. The Flint battle is an extremely minor part of the episode that was never advertised in the summary as being the main plot of the episode. It was just to show Leon beat someone quickly in the Masters 8. Seeing Leon beat some other characters builds him up narratively.
Flint Vs. Cynthia wasn't advertised either, or even shown in the preview for DP 191; yet another similarity. The battle was a quick tool used to narratively remind everyone what they already know about Ash in an episode primarily centered around the DP gang saying their farewells and moving on.

It was just to show Leon beat someone quickly in the Masters 8.
The Masters 8 feature the top Pokémon Trainers in the entire world, apparently. Why are we allowing and promoting mediocrity for battles fought between Masters 8 members? I wonder if Ash were to "quickly" defeat Raihan or Cynthia in favor of another plot within the episode, if people would be okay with that too.
 

Sai

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The Masters 8 feature the top Pokémon Trainers in the entire world, apparently. Why are we allowing and promoting mediocrity for battles fought between Masters 8 members? I wonder if Ash were to "quickly" defeat Raihan or Cynthia in favor of another plot within the episode, if people would be okay with that too.
Why are you comparing Ash battling in the tournament to a minor battle in this episode? Of course when Ash gets there it will be the main plot since it'll be the final arc of the series, you know the main character wouldn't be handled that way. The battle is simply to show Leon beat a Masters 8 character in a extremely short scene to build Leon up. That's why Flint himself didn't stick around for the rest of the ep or get any focus, it's a minor scene to show what Leon was going at the beginning of the episode.

If this episode was titled "Leon vs Flint" or something and the plot was specifically about them battling over the road trip then it would be a little odd, but it's a minor scene to casually reveal another Masters 8 member while showing Leon as Champion.
 

Alola

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Why are you comparing Ash battling in the tournament to a minor battle in this episode?
Because as I just wrote, any battle within the Master's 8 should be animated well given that all of the participants are the strongest Trainers in the world; and as I said before, a battle between a Champion and Elite Four member should be visually impressive - I'm not even arguing for a long fight akin to Leon and Lance as whatever they do just needs to look nice. Giving a pass to Flint, an Elite Four member with much more battling experience than Ash, but not to Ash is something I disagree with. And this notion that because the battle was short means the fight doesn't have to be animated well is silly to me, given that we have had short yet lively battles animated before.
The battle is simply to show Leon beat a Masters 8 character in a extremely short scene to build Leon up. That's why Flint himself didn't stick around for the rest of the ep or get any focus, it's a minor scene to show what Leon was going at the beginning of the episode.
I could say the same thing about Flint Vs. Cynthia (which I already have). But to illustrate my point, let's take what you just said with the context of Flint Vs. Cynthia:

"The battle is simply to show Ash want to be a Pokémon Master in a extremely short scene to build Ash up. That's why Flint himself didn't stick around for the rest of the ep or get any focus, it's a minor scene to show what Ash was thinking towards the end of the episode."
 

Sai

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Well the animation in this ep wasn't the greatest in general but that's besides the point. This wasn't a battle episode. It was about Ash and Leon bonding and seeing how similar they are, that Leon is basically a carefree child in an adults body. That's why the summary basically said Leon was going to play with Pokemon as his idea of "training." The only reason the Flint segment exists is to reiterate why Leon is champion showing him beat someone in Masters 8. Instead of showing him beat Lance again or say Cynthia, revealing a new Masters 8 character makes sense. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the last few Masters 8 characters revealed like this over the next batch of eps.

Given neither the 30 second preview advertised the battle, nor did the original summaries, it was obvious it would just be some short thing. Whether the animation could have been better or not doesn't really matter because different animation teams do different episodes. They obviously aren't going to blow their budget on an ep where 90% of it is not battling but Ash and Go on the road.
 

Queen Cynthia

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Leon acts that way because he's basically a grown-up player character, who tend to be children.
How does that make it any better? Do we really need or want just a grown-up copy of Ash as the apparently "strongest" trainer? Or wouldn't it be much more impressive to have somebody with dignity, charisma and heroic behavior, like Lance and of course Cynthia, a real monarch so to speak?

If having some fun on your free time makes you unworthy of being champion, doesn’t Cynthia’s ice cream addiction make her a no-goer too?
Well, Cynthia certainly makes up for this one litte "weakness" with countless strengths, which Leon doesn't. I will compare Cynthia with Leon further down.

Well... technically Cynthia is the most recent Champion due to the BDSP remakes.
BDSP ist "just" a remake, so taking the order of the generations into account, SwSh should still be the most recent main series games. Apart from that, they sure were the most recent ones when Leon was introduced for the first time and the way Leon is being promoted right now still seems to be based on that assumption.
Storywise, Leon is canonically stronger than Cynthia.
I'm sorry but I absolutely have to disagree, not because I consider myself one of the biggest Cynthia fans, but simply because it's wrong.

First, we've already had many discussions here about how arbitrary and implausible the PWC'S ranking system is. (Case in point: Ash jumping from rank 36 to 25 after beating somebody ranked 29th) Nobody seems to be able to understand or explain it. So, it might just as well be possible for Leon to become number 1 simply by beating, for example, number 5 of the Masters 8. So let's say Cynthia is ranked 2nd (shame on you, writers!!) it's possible Cynthia and Leon might never have battled before. There might never have been a direct showdown between the two of them, so from a canonical standpoint nothing has been proven yet.

Second, it could also be possible that Cynthia has entered the PWC just recently, just like Leon hasn't become number 1 before Journeys started. So, again it could be plausible there never has been a direct match between Cynthia and the purple-haired guy from Galar yet. Making an assumption based on a person's ranking alone is a bit like saying just because a nation has won the Soccer World Championships, now that nation must be the strongest in the world. They might just have been lucky or they might have lost if they'd faced another team during the tournament.

Sure, I agree with you that a rank allows for certain assumptions but saying that Leon is canonically stronger does go too far, because it has never been confirmed!

You may not like how overshilled Leon is, but the fact of the matter is that Leon is overshilled both because he's supposed to be a Player Character grown up
Then why don't you just agree with me when it comes to my rejection of Leon? From what you wrote I understand you're unhappy with the way he's being handled (and overshilled), too.
in a battle with a decisive consequence (becoming Champion for Cynthia
I agree with you saying that such important battles need to get more focus and better animation. Just one little thing: I still remember Cynthia vs. Flint as if it were yesterday and back then the announcer said "Cynthia will stay on her throne", meaning that she had already been Champion at that time.


Last but not least, allow me to explain my big problem with Leon in general:
Cynthia has had countless appearances in several adventures over many years. No other champions can be associated with more encounters with legendary Pokemon and great arcs respectively. Her battles have always been epic and intense, her outer appearance is full of coolness, strength and dignity, just like an angel sent directly from heaven. Finally she always speaks words of wisdom and her own philosophy which shines through in so many episodes is just wonderful. In other words: Cynthia is the epitome of a perfect person and perfect champion alike.
Now let's compare that to Leon. Here's the big thing that bugs me: Right from the start he was introduced as the allegedly undefeated champion. It's as if the writers wanted to say "Here's your new almighty champion because we decided to overshill him. Accept it if you like it or not" Yes, this seems to me like we needed to be "converted" by force. There was no background, no gradual build-up over many years and no opportunities for Leon to prove why he is something special (as opposed to Cynthia like I explained above). And no, I'm not counting those battles against Lance and Raihan. Both of them, especially Lance, totally wiped the floor with Leon until he pulled his DEM, magical super move (G-Max Wildfire)... The only battle that somehow showed some of his "skills" was the one against Flint. (I'm not talking about that cake baking "tournament" in Galar which was just embarrassing) Surely, that is way too little and underwhelming to accept him as the "Supreme Monarch". I would be fine accepting him as a strong member of the Masters 8, but considering all we've seen so far (and what I've tried to explain above) the honor and title of Greatest Champion must belong to none other than Cynthia!
 
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Nicolas721

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A simple but fun episode, that did its job well on selling Leon as someone who gets his strength from playing with Pokemon and trying to understand them better. Ash acted a little passive on the episode, but he didn't feel dumb either so I'll let it slide. My complaints would be the lack of Galar debuts (only one? through I guess Wooloo had a bigger role than last time) and the Sonia subplot, as I feared it was extremely rushed and deserved its own episode.

8/10
 

nickdt

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How does that make it any better? Do we really need or want just a grown-up copy of Ash as the apparently "strongest" trainer? Or wouldn't it be much more impressive to have somebody with dignity, charisma and heroic behavior, like Lance and of course Cynthia, a real monarch so to speak?


Well, Cynthia certainly makes up for this one litte "weakness" with countless strengths, which Leon doesn't. I will compare Cynthia with Leon further down.


BDSP ist "just" a remake, so taking the order of the generations into account, SwSh should still be the most recent main series games. Apart from that, they sure were the most recent ones when Leon was introduced for the first time and the way Leon is being promoted right now still seems to be based on that assumption.

I'm sorry but I absolutely have to disagree, not because I consider myself one of the biggest Cynthia fans, but simply because it's wrong.

First, we've already had many discussions here about how arbitrary and implausible the PWC'S ranking system is. (Case in point: Ash jumping from rank 36 to 25 after beating somebody ranked 29th) Nobody seems to be able to understand or explain it. So, it might just as well be possible for Leon to become number 1 simply by beating, for example, number 5 of the Masters 8. So let's say Cynthia is ranked 2nd (shame on you, writers!!) it's possible Cynthia and Leon might never have battled before. There might never have been a direct showdown between the two of them, so from a canonical standpoint nothing has been proven yet.

Second, it could also be possible that Cynthia has entered the PWC just recently, just like Leon hasn't become number 1 before Journeys started. So, again it could be plausible there never has been a direct match between Cynthia and the purple-haired guy from Galar yet. Making an assumption based on a person's ranking alone is a bit like saying just because a nation has won the Soccer World Championships, now that nation must be the strongest in the world. They might just have been lucky or they might have lost if they'd faced another team during the tournament.

Sure, I agree with you that a rank allows for certain assumptions but saying that Leon is canonically stronger does go too far, because it has never been confirmed!


Then why don't you just agree with me when it comes to my rejection of Leon? From what you wrote I understand you're unhappy with the way he's being handled (and overshilled), too.

I agree with you saying that such important battles need to get more focus and better animation. Just one little thing: I still remember Cynthia vs. Flint as if it were yesterday and back then the announcer said "Cynthia will stay on her throne", meaning that she had already been Champion at that time.


Last but not least, allow me to explain my big problem with Leon in general:
Cynthia has had countless appearances in several adventures over many years. No other champions can be associated with more encounters with legendary Pokemon and great arcs respectively. Her battles have always been epic and intense, her outer appearance is full of coolness, strength and dignity, just like an angel sent directly from heaven. Finally she always speaks words of wisdom and her own philosophy which shines through in so many episodes is just wonderful. In other words: Cynthia is the epitome of a perfect person and perfect champion alike.
Now let's compare that to Leon. Here's the big thing that bugs me: Right from the start he was introduced as the allegedly undefeated champion. It's as if the writers wanted to say "Here's your new almighty champion because we decided to overshill him. Accept it if you like it or not" Yes, this seems to me like we needed to be "converted" by force. There was no background, no gradual build-up over many years and no opportunities for Leon to prove why he is something special (as opposed to Cynthia like I explained above). And no, I'm not counting those battles against Lance and Raihan. Both of them, especially Lance, totally wiped the floor with Leon until he pulled his DEM, magical super move (G-Max Wildfire)... The only battle that somehow showed some of his "skills" was the one against Flint. (I'm not talking about that cake baking "tournament" in Galar which was just embarrassing) Surely, that is way too little and underwhelming to accept him as the "Supreme Monarch". I would be fine accepting him as a strong member of the Masters 8, but considering all we've seen so far (and what I've tried to explain above) the honor and title of Greatest Champion must belong to none other than Cynthia!

Problem is that you have destroyed your own argument entirely by saying:
Sure, I agree with you that a rank allows for certain assumptions but saying that Leon is canonically stronger does go too far, because it has never been confirmed!

Neither has it been confirmed that Cynthia is canonically stronger (So you claiming she is stronger than Leon is false by default as well because of this reasoning of yours alone and it completely destroys the argument you are making by saying this).
 

Twilight-Kun

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Was the Leon vs Flint battle as one sided as we feared?
Infernape was mopping the floor with Charizard, but it didn't have to Gigantamax to get a win for once, which means it's gotten stronger from when Duraludon and Gyarados kicked its teeth in
Sonia's subplot basically served to enhance Ash and Leon's story by giving background information about Leon without it feeling forced.
Still forced, given it prevented Go from catching anything, which was wildly OOC for him

Why does Go suddenly care about Leon?
 

Sai

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Zzz

Nothing to say about the episode
While I know the new opening completely overshadowed the episode, this was probably the best episode we got for both Leon and Ash in a long time. We haven't had as well done a parallel since Ash and Kukui in SM, only back then it was father/son and here it's almost like brother/little brother. Ash is basically Hop, lol.
 

Twilight-Kun

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Not really. They traveled to a place where he can catch more pokémon.
Then by all means, show me all the pokemon he caught in this episode besides the obligatory one

Was there some special edition episode where they gave him more screentime? Is that why he had a Hoothoot in one episode for no reason?
 

Queen Cynthia

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Problem is that you have destroyed your own argument entirely by saying:
Sure, I agree with you that a rank allows for certain assumptions but saying that Leon is canonically stronger does go too far, because it has never been confirmed!

Neither has it been confirmed that Cynthia is canonically stronger (So you claiming she is stronger than Leon is false by default as well because of this reasoning of yours alone and it completely destroys the argument you are making by saying this).
Now it seems you got me wrong.
My only point was that we can't necessarily say that Leon is canonically stronger than Cynthia based on his rank.

Let me explain again: We have have learned by now that the ranking system obviously works in a very strange way that cannot really be explained logically. So, it might just as well be true that Leon become number one, never having actually battled against Cynthia. Given how that ranking system works the whole thing is useless when it comes to actually comparing two trainers as long as we haven't seen an actually battle between them.
Sure, I can't prove that Cynthia is canonically stronger than Leon but you can't prove the opposite, either, as long as we don't get to see an actual battle ( And even here I think the writers will be unfairly biased in Leon's favor considering how he's been pampered so far...but that's another story). So, that's all I wanted to say and I don't think I've destroyed any of my arguments ;)
 

Twilight-Kun

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Rank doesn't equate to power, as Ash has been showing time and time and time again where he steamrolls opponents with pokemon he's never trained
 
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"If I don't like the results, it's narrative shilling. If I like the results, then it's the logical conclusion to the standards I flat out made up like the mere concept of having fun being a disqualification for the worthiness of being the top trainer."

I dislike Leon a lot and the poorly structured narrative of JN is not helping, but what even is this argument?
 
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